Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Article: Twins Minor League Report (AFL Week 2): The Rosario Show Continues


Steve Lein
 Share

Twins Daily Contributor

The second week of the Arizona Fall League season included a tie for the Salt River Rafters as their game on Friday went 11 innings, and the teams ran out of scheduled pitchers. Overall on the week, the Rafters were 3-2-1, and Eddie Rosario continued to rake and run.Let’s see how all of the Twins prospects fared in week two of the Arizona Fall League.

 

 

Byron Buxton – 4 games, 3-18 (.167), 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K’s. Batting .229 overall.

 

Buxton again played in four games, playing centerfield for three games and right field for one, while batting leadoff in each.

 

After a two-hit day (including a double) in Monday’s 7-4 win, he cooled off for the rest of the week.

 

In Tuesday’s game he was 0-4 but made good contact, lining out to both third base and left field. On Thursday he was 0-4 with two K’s, and finished his week by going 1-6 in Friday’s tie.

 

 

Eddie Rosario – 4 games, 7-18 (.389), 2B, 2 R’s, 2 RBI, 3 SB (6), 1 BB, 5 K’s. Batting .417 overall.

 

Rosario continued his hot hitting from week one, and enters week three sitting atop the AFL batting average leader board.

 

He also sits in second on the stolen base leader board with six as he swiped three more bags in his four games. He was also caught stealing for the first time.

 

In the eleven inning tie, Rosario went 3-6 and stole two bases.

 

Also notable was that Rosario batted leadoff, second and third in the lineup during the week, and also played one game in centerfield. .

 

 

Max Kepler – 3 games, 2-10 (.200), 2 R’s, SB (2), 4 BB’s, 2 K’s. Batting .211 overall.

 

Kepler played right field in all three games and was moved up and down the lineup. Despite collecting just two hits on the week, he also drew four walks, compared to only two strikeouts. Despite the .211 batting average, Kepler’s on-base percentage through two weeks is a strong .375.

 

 

Taylor Rogers – Did not play.

 

Rogers took a line drive to his left arm in his only start for the Rafters last week, and has not pitched since.

 

 

Jason Adam – 2 games, 3 IP, 2 ER’s, 7 H’s, 0 BB, 1 K. 6.00 ERA.

 

Adam is looking to make a good impression on the Twins in the AFL after coming over in the Josh Willingham trade with Royals.

 

He struggled in week one, and was only marginally better this week.

 

His ERA sits at 9.00 overall, with a WHIP of 2.33 in six total innings. He has allowed at least one run in each of his four appearances thus far.

 

 

Zack Jones – 2 games, 2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H’s, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 Hold. 0.00 ERA.

 

Jones picked up his first hold in Monday’s 7-4 win, and made his second appearance of the week on Thursday.

 

He gave up a single in each appearance, but didn’t surrender any damage on the scoreboard. Though he didn’t walk anyone, he did hit one batter on Monday (hope it wasn’t a fastball!).

 

 

Jake Reed – 1 game, 2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H’s, 1 BB, 2 K’s. 0.00 ERA.

 

Reed made just one appearance during the week, but it was of the two inning variety.

 

He entered the game in the fifth inning of Thursday’s 5-1 win, and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout. In the sixth, Reed walked the second batter he faced, but got a fielder’s choice groundball out and his second strikeout to end the inning.

 

He now has seven K’s in five IP in the AFL, and in 36 innings since being drafted by the Twins in fifth round of June’s draft, has allowed just one earned run.

 

Notes

 

-The Rafters have the best record in the AFL at 7-3-1 after two weeks.

-Twins hitters combined to bat .261 with two 2B’s, five R’s, three RBI, six BBs, 10 K’s, and four SBs during the week.

-Twins pitchers compiled a 2.57 ERA in seven IP, allowing three R’s (two ER) on nine hits and one BB, while striking out four on the week.

 

Click here to view the article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

To me Rosario has always been a streaky hitter.  When he is on he can go 4 for 5 and when he falls into the abyss 2 for 20.  Granted everyone has slumps but IIRC he seems more prone to them than most.  I would say he is on one of his hot streaks and once he comes crashing down he won't be able to buy a hit.  Having said that I do like him as a player.  I think he can hit and hit for more power than most project and I like his defensive versatility.  If he gets just a little more consistent I think we have our left fielder.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kepler just can't get going.  He had a good end of the year and I was hoping something clicked and he would carry that into the AFL.  Its only 3 games, but so far he just strugges against advanced competition.  

 

I had him pegged for a AA starter next year, now I think its likely he stays at High A.  I think his days as a top 15 prospect are dwindling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kepler just can't get going.  He had a good end of the year and I was hoping something clicked and he would carry that into the AFL.  Its only 3 games, but so far he just strugges against advanced competition.  

 

I had him pegged for a AA starter next year, now I think its likely he stays at High A.  I think his days as a top 15 prospect are dwindling.

You are being kind....his days as a top 15 prospect are not dwindling, they are done, IMO.  Doesn't mean he still doesn't have a chance but its going to be tough if the 40 man rosters spots start getting scarce to keep him there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are being kind....his days as a top 15 prospect are not dwindling, they are done, IMO.  Doesn't mean he still doesn't have a chance but its going to be tough if the 40 man rosters spots start getting scarce to keep him there.

Not sure I'd agree that they are "done," but I do think he's teetering on the edge. Whether it's in the outfield or at 1B, his peers are beginning to outdistance him, in terms of performance, and some of the players coming up behind him are looking like they may have as much, or more, potential. It has reached the point where, when you forecast a Twins lineup over the next few years, it's tough to see where he would be likely to fit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure I'd agree that they are "done," but I do think he's teetering on the edge. Whether it's in the outfield or at 1B, his peers are beginning to outdistance him, in terms of performance, and some of the players coming up behind him are looking like they may have as much, or more, potential. It has reached the point where, when you forecast a Twins lineup over the next few years, it's tough to see where he would be likely to fit.

 

"likely to fit" with the Twins shouldn't be a criteria in Twins prospect lists.

"likely to fit" on the field - OF or 1B - or in the lineup - middle of lineup or back third - is a very legitimate question.

 

I dropped him from something like 9th to 16th from last year to this year. I'm definitely not willing to give up on him at all. Too much talent and athleticism, but obviously it does have to come together at some point. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"likely to fit" with the Twins shouldn't be a criteria in Twins prospect lists.

"likely to fit" on the field - OF or 1B - or in the lineup - middle of lineup or back third - is a very legitimate question.

 

I dropped him from something like 9th to 16th from last year to this year. I'm definitely not willing to give up on him at all. Too much talent and athleticism, but obviously it does have to come together at some point. 

Plus how old is he 21?  He has another 3 to 4 years to hit his stride.  How does he compare to college hitters getting drafted?  Obviously not top of the class but still solid.  I think he has the floor of Benson and a much higher ceiling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"likely to fit" with the Twins shouldn't be a criteria in Twins prospect lists.

"likely to fit" on the field - OF or 1B - or in the lineup - middle of lineup or back third - is a very legitimate question.

 

I dropped him from something like 9th to 16th from last year to this year. I'm definitely not willing to give up on him at all. Too much talent and athleticism, but obviously it does have to come together at some point. 

We may be talking apples and oranges or we may not be that far off in agreement, but I do consider a prospect's likelihood of becoming a regular contributor to the Twins at the MLB level when I evaluate "Twins prospects." It is certainly not a primary consideration, but it's there.

 

Right this moment, Kepler is not among my top 3 Twins OF prospects. I'm not 100% sure he's in the top 5-6, but probably somewhere right in that area.

 

He's already on the 40-man roster, but if the Twins end up needing roster space, how secure is his spot?

 

When I start looking at a potential logjam of prospects, especially outfielders, I start to make a mental list of guys that could possibly end up being lost in MLB/MiLB Rule 5 drafts or as they become minor league free agents, run out of options, etc., and Kepler would seem to be at-risk in certain areas because of how long it has taken him to get to the point he's at.

 

I agree he still has a ton of potential, because you can't teach the raw athleticsm he has. But IF it's going to take, say, another 4-5 years for him to reach that potential, I think there's a significant chance that it will be while wearing another uniform, because there are so many ways in which the Twins can end up losing him. To my way of thinking, that does affect his standing as a "Twins Prospect." (This would be, as opposed to, "Top MLB prospects currently under contract to the Twins organization," where he might rank a bit higher.)

Edited by Steven BUHR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We may be talking apples and oranges or we may not be that far off in agreement, but I do consider a prospect's likelihood of becoming a regular contributor to the Twins at the MLB level when I evaluate "Twins prospects." It is certainly not a primary consideration, but it's there.

 

Right this moment, Kepler is not among my top 3 Twins OF prospects. I'm not 100% sure he's in the top 5-6, but probably somewhere right in that area.

 

He's already on the 40-man roster, but if the Twins end up needing roster space, how secure is his spot?

 

I'm curious how your top-6 list of Twins outfield prospects shakes out. My list is something like the following...

1) Buxton

<large gap>

2) Rosario

<smaller gap>

3a) Walker

3b) Kepler

3c) Harrison

(I guess this would be different if you are considering Sano in the outfield. For the time being I still think of him at 3B)

 

I think that Walker, Kepler and Harrison are all about equal. They all ended up with nearly identical wRC+ this past season. Harrison and Kepler controlled the strike zone well but had little power; Walker was the exact opposite. Some power guys eventually develop decent plate discipline. Many don't. Some plate discipline guys eventually develop power. Many don't. My guess is that one of those three will make it to the big leagues as something like an average regular; the other two won't. But I have know idea which one to pick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 40 man issue is very real for Kepler.  When he was added last year, I'm sure the Twins were counting on him taking a large step forward.  Pretty soon, that spot is going to be needed and they will have to choose.....with the talent coming up, that doesn't bode well for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm curious how your top-6 list of Twins outfield prospects shakes out. My list is something like the following...

1) Buxton

<large gap>

2) Rosario

<smaller gap>

3a) Walker

3b) Kepler

3c) Harrison

(I guess this would be different if you are considering Sano in the outfield. For the time being I still think of him at 3B)

 

I think that Walker, Kepler and Harrison are all about equal. They all ended up with nearly identical wRC+ this past season. Harrison and Kepler controlled the strike zone well but had little power; Walker was the exact opposite. Some power guys eventually develop decent plate discipline. Many don't. Some plate discipline guys eventually develop power. Many don't. My guess is that one of those three will make it to the big leagues as something like an average regular; the other two won't. But I have know idea which one to pick.

I haven't given it a ton of thought, yet, since I don't do my own prospect list until closer to the end of the year, but your list would be similar to mine. I would put Jason Kanzler in that group with Walker, Harrison and Kepler, probably. Among those four, I doubt Kepler would be at the top of my list right this moment. Maybe further study would convince me.

Edited by Steven BUHR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm curious how your top-6 list of Twins outfield prospects shakes out. My list is something like the following...

1) Buxton

<large gap>

2) Rosario

<smaller gap>

3a) Walker

3b) Kepler

3c) Harrison

(I guess this would be different if you are considering Sano in the outfield. For the time being I still think of him at 3B)

 

 

 

These days I would put:

1 Buxtie

2 Eddie

3 Harrison 

4 Walker  

5 Minier (he played more in the OF than at 3B)

6 Kepler 

 

Harrison is 1 year younger than Walker and scouts say power/bat will come around.  If the scouts are right and if he can keep up his plate approach where it is now, he is a nice looking pro.  Not a super star but a solid regular.

Walker is what he is.  intriguing, but scary red flags

Kepler just seems to stall

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I would rather think about this, obviously, than my work, I think that I would probably rank those 6 guys as follows:

 

1 Buxton - because he's Buxton.

2. Rosario - hesitate to put too much emphasis on AFL numbers after a couple weeks, but he was so good before the suspension that you want to hope this fall indicates 2014 was just a crappy year for him after the suspension.

3 Walker - because you don't teach that kind of power. Any guy who can hit the ball that hard and run as well as he does has a good chance to be a difference maker. It is possible to cut down on Ks. Know how I know it's possible?... see...

4. Harrison - because he had one significant offensive weakness after 2013, strikeouts, and he cut down from 125 to 86 (in exactly the same number of plate appearances, btw). Yeah, he focused on contact and strike zone awareness this year, perhaps at the expense of power. But I've seen the power and I believe it will be back.

5. Kanzler - because he's shown more offensively and defensively than Kepler has, so far, despite Kepler looking like he should be the more athletic guy. He plays defense with some reckless abandon, however, so when you consider his chances of making it, you have to be concerned whether that will get him hurt before he makes the Bigs.

6 - Kepler - still in this group of prospects because he does have the athleticism the others do and he's younger than the others (though Harrison just turned 22, so their 4 month age difference is meaningless).

Edited by Steven BUHR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These days I would put:

1 Buxtie

2 Eddie

3 Harrison 

4 Walker  

5 Minier (he played more in the OF than at 3B)

6 Kepler 

 

Harrison is 1 year younger than Walker and scouts say power/bat will come around.  If the scouts are right and if he can keep up his plate approach where it is now, he is a nice looking pro.  Not a super star but a solid regular.

Walker is what he is.  intriguing, but scary red flags

----------------------------------------

1. Buxton

2. Walker

3. Rosario

4. Harrison

5. Kepler

6. Kanzler

Because unfortunately bonuses matter in baseball

 

I'm going in a different order because: 

1) I think Walker's RED FLAGS will show well in Target Field along with the other Twins colors (Blue & White).  His athleticism is underrated.  Rosario steals bases at a 65% rate throughout his minor league career  (4 for 11 in Fort Myers alone).  While Walker steals bases at a 82% rate throughout his minor league carrer  (9 for 14 in Fort Myers alone ). When I add in their respective intangibles - I liked Walker better.

 

2) Rosario has the ability to play 2nd base as well which moves him up on the prospect rankings.  Only other intangible that is worth the bump to me.  Good on defense but not great like BUxton.

 

3) Harrison has shown more consistency hitting than Kepler and moves ahead for that reason, although Kepler seems to be a better fielder.  Harrison has a SB Rate of 57% while Kepler has a 84% SB rate through the minors.  In the end Hitting matters.  Production matters.  Harrison has that edge on Kepler.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting comments. Thank you all. I am on the fence with Kepler. But I think it has to do with timing, like life. He was signed as a young international FA who had lots of talent but not a lot of baseball background, being from Germany. It takes time and that is one thing that may likely run out on him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what are the chances of any of these guys hitting Target Field this year and at least looking like they belong?

 

Personal opinion and obviously a lot of variables, but here is my uqick thoughts on percent likelihood they play in the big leagues in 2015:

 

Byron Buxton - 80% (doesn't have to be on 40 man roster for another year)

Eddie Rosario - 80% (will be added to 40 man in November)

Max Kepler - 20% (2nd of 4 option years)

Taylor Rogers - 45% (doesn't have to be added to the 40 man roster for another year)

Jason Adam - 25% (could be added to 40 man roster in November)

Zack Jones - 50% (doesn't have to be on 40 man roster for another year)

Jake Reed - 35% (doesn't have to be on the 40 man roster for 3 more years or so)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jake Reed has pitched 36 innings in his pro career and given up only 1 earned run, and the Twins want to do what?  Stash him somewhere in the minor leagues because they have three more years before they have to protect him from the Rule 5.

 

Watch the World Series and see what the Royals do with their 1st Round Pick this year.

 

Man.  No words for that kind of thinking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think 80% is a strong number for both Rosario and Buxton. However, I expect at least one and probably more of the relievers to make their debut this year. Add in Mason Melotakis (a lefty) if his arm is sound.

 

As far as Kepler goes, I've been to spring training three straight years and I liked him more three years ago than I do now. However, he is only 21 and has lost plenty of time with injuries. Last year, I pinpointed JO Berrios as a guy with a chance to make a big jump and he did. This year, the guy is Kepler.

Edited by stringer bell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personal opinion and obviously a lot of variables, but here is my uqick thoughts on percent likelihood they play in the big leagues in 2015:

 

Byron Buxton - 80% (doesn't have to be on 40 man roster for another year)

Eddie Rosario - 80% (will be added to 40 man in November)

Max Kepler - 20% (2nd of 4 option years)

Taylor Rogers - 45% (doesn't have to be added to the 40 man roster for another year)

Jason Adam - 25% (could be added to 40 man roster in November)

Zack Jones - 50% (doesn't have to be on 40 man roster for another year)

Jake Reed - 35% (doesn't have to be on the 40 man roster for 3 more years or so)

When I read Buxton 80%, I had to re-read and make sure it wasn't "what percent chance he won't play in the big leagues this year."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jake Reed has pitched 36 innings in his pro career and given up only 1 earned run, and the Twins want to do what?  Stash him somewhere in the minor leagues because they have three more years before they have to protect him from the Rule 5.

 

Watch the World Series and see what the Royals do with their 1st Round Pick this year.

 

Man.  No words for that kind of thinking.

Are you suggesting it's valid to compare Finnegan to Reed? Finnegan was the 18th player taken. He's living up to his glowing scouting reports, even exceeding all expectations. People watching Reed in the AFL, despite his nice showing, are still seeing some command issues. It's entirely unfair to criticize the Twins on their advancement of Reed, who was selected about 100 players after Finnegan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I read Buxton 80%, I had to re-read and make sure it wasn't "what percent chance he won't play in the big leagues this year."

Health is an important factor for any of these guys' chances of appearing at Target Field this year, but especially so with Buxton. IF he stays healthy, I think he's nearly a 100% chance of getting a taste of the big leagues in 2015.

 

But that's a big "if."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you suggesting it's valid to compare Finnegan to Reed? Finnegan was the 18th player taken. He's living up to his glowing scouting reports, even exceeding all expectations. People watching Reed in the AFL, despite his nice showing, are still seeing some command issues. It's entirely unfair to criticize the Twins on their advancement of Reed, who was selected about 100 players after Finnegan.

 

What you are saying here is true, I guess what rubs me the wrong way is service time seems to be the deciding factor over who can help out the club. 

 

Burdi was taken 46th and many  mocks had him going 21 to the Tigers. He is probably a better comp....if we follow the same service time logic he won't be up for a few years.   That would be a poor choice in my view.  Same with Reed, regardless of where he is drafted IF he puts up simlar numbers as he moves up.  Service time should not be a huge factor for a college reliever.

Edited by tobi0040
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Twins Daily Contributor

I'm a bit bullish on Kepler though I would agree he's not up near the top 10 anymore. I actually think he may be of the type where his performance picks up as the competition he faces is more polished. I still remember when he was the most impressive player on the diamond to me playing with the Kernels roster a few years ago at ST. That roster included Sano, Vargas, and Rosario. I wouldn't have even called those guys prospects compared to him if I didn't know better. The athleticism and skills are there, the production is all that is left to come. And don't forget that he's still very young! Jason Kanzler is THREE years older, as an example. The whole 40-man roster situation sucks though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to the Rafters game in Mesa on Saturday night. A few impressions ...

 

Was disappointed that neither Buxton or Kepler were in the lineup. Rosario looked awful at that the plate that day. Adam worse: the other team ran on him with impunity (Little League style). Briefly met Reed's father, which was nice. About 200 people were in attendance on a very warm Phoenix night - don't know why so few. Also, the game was blunder-filled on the defensive side, very subpar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see Reed, Burdi, and Jones and maybe a few other high powered relievers climbing the minor league ladder to AAA if not the majors next season.  I can see the Twins waiting till May of 2016 to bring up most of these relievers.  I do believe the Twins will want to at least see some decent control from their relievers before bringing them up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premiere Twins community on the internet.

×
×
  • Create New...